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The Meaning of Suffering

1I am a man who has seen much trouble. God beat us with a stick, and I saw it happen.

2He led and brought me into darkness, not light.

3He turned his hand against me. He did this again and again, all day.

4He wore out my flesh and skin. He broke my bones.

5He built up bitterness and trouble against me. He surrounded me with bitterness and trouble.

6He put me in the dark, like someone who died long ago.

7He shut me in, so I could not get out. He put heavy chains on me.

8Even when I cry out and ask for help, he does not listen to my prayer.

9He has blocked up my path with stones. He has made my path crooked.

10He is like a bear about to attack me, like a lion that is in a hiding place.

11He led me off my path. He tore me to pieces and ruined me.

12He made his bow ready. He made me the target for his arrows.

13He shot me in the stomach with his arrows.

14I have become a joke to all my people. All day long they sing songs about me and make fun of me.

15He gave me this poison to drink. He filled me with this bitter drink.

16He pushed my teeth into rocky ground. He pushed me into the dirt.

17I thought I would never have peace again. I forgot about good things.

18I said to myself, “I no longer have any hope that the LORD will help me.”

19Remember, I am very sad, and I have no home. Remember the bitter poison that you gave me.

20I remember well all my troubles, and I am very sad.

21But then I think about this, and I have hope:

22We are still alive because the LORD'S faithful love never ends.

23Every morning he shows it in new ways! You are so very true and loyal!

24I say to myself, “The LORD is my God, and I trust him.”

25The LORD is good to those who wait for him. He is good to those who look for him.

26It is good to wait quietly for the LORD to save them.

27It is good for a man to wear his yoke from the time he is young.

28He should sit alone and be quiet when the Lord puts his yoke on him.

29He should bow down to the Lord. Maybe there is still hope.

30He should turn his cheek to the one who hits him and let people insult him.

31He should remember that the Lord does not reject people forever.

32When he punishes, he also has mercy. He has mercy because of his great love and kindness.

33He does not enjoy causing people pain. He does not like to make anyone unhappy.

34He does not like any prisoner on earth to be trampled down.

35He does not like anyone to be unfair to another person. Some people will do such things right in front of God Most High.

36He does not like anyone to cheat another person. He does not like any of these things.

37No one can say something and make it happen, unless the Lord orders it.

38God Most High commands both good and bad things to happen.

39No one alive can complain when he punishes them for their sins.

40Let us check and see what we have done. Then let us turn back to the LORD.

41Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to the God of heaven.

42Let us say to him, “We have sinned and have been stubborn. Because of this, you have not forgiven us.

43You wrapped yourself with anger. You chased us. You killed us without mercy!

44You wrapped yourself in a cloud so that no prayer could get through.

45You made us like garbage and dirt to the other nations.

46All of our enemies speak angrily against us.

47We have been frightened. We have fallen into a pit. We have been badly hurt. We have been broken.”

48My eyes flow with streams of tears. I cry because of the destruction of my people.

49My eyes will flow without stopping. I will keep on crying.

50I will continue to cry until you look down and see us, LORD! I will continue to cry until you see us from heaven.

51My eyes make me sad, when I see what happened to the young women in my city.

52For no reason, my enemies hunted me like a bird.

53They threw me alive into a pit and then threw stones at me.

54Water came up over my head. I said to myself, “I am finished.”

55LORD, I called your name from the bottom of the pit.

56You heard my voice. You didn’t close your ears. You didn’t refuse to rescue me.

57You came to me on the day that I called out to you. You said to me, “Don’t be afraid.”

58You defended me and bought me back to life.

59LORD, you have seen my trouble. Now judge my case for me.

60You have seen how my enemies have hurt me. You have seen all the evil plans that they made against me.

61You heard them insult me, LORD. You have heard all the evil plans that they made against me.

62The words and the thoughts of my enemies are against me all the time—

63when they sit down and when they stand up. Look how they make fun of me!

64Give them back what they deserve, LORD. Pay them back for what they have done.

65Make them stubborn and then curse them.

66Chase them in anger and destroy them. Wipe them off the face of the earth, LORD!

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